BEWARE OF YOUR PRAYER REQUESTS!
“In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, ‘This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.’ Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, ‘Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly” (Isaiah 38:1-3 NIV).
While God may decide not to answer our prayers in our own ways, He may sometimes leave us to have our ways in our self-centred prayers to our detriment. That is why we have to be very careful of our prayer requests.
King Hezekiah was ill to the point of death. The absolute will of God for him was to die, presumably because he had fulfilled his assignment as a king and the next thing for him in God’s agenda was to die honourably. As any other man, Hezekiah did not want to die. He made his mind known to God. He prayed and reminded God how faithful he was in serving God. It was evident from the content of the prayer that Hezekiah was self-centred. In His infinite mercy, God heard the prayer and extended Hezekiah’s life by fifteen years. However, those fifteen years were his undoing! A God-centred king suddenly became self-centred. He was no longer conscious of God’s glory, but his prowess. No wonder, when a foreign king sent emissaries to him to congratulate him on his recovery, instead of pointing them to God, he was busy showing them what he had as a king. God rebuked him harshly on this and it led to the fall of his kingdom, though during the time of his descendants (see Isaiah 39). The land of Judah would not have had a wicked king in Manasseh who was born during those added fifteen years if Hezekiah had accepted the absolute will of God for his life (2 Kings 20:21; 22:1; Jeremiah 15:4).
On many occasions, we also are preoccupied with what we consider “good” for ourselves. We are not mindful of “the best,” the absolute will of God for our lives. We pressurize God to do what we want, and at times, He may let us have our way which may have bad consequences. Jesus Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane, allowed the absolute will of God to be done in His life, even when He knew that it would result in His death (Matthew 26:39-42). God was indeed glorified in the life and death of Jesus Christ and Jesus was given a name above all names (Philippians 2:5-11).
Beware of your prayer requests especially when you are desperate in getting anything from God. It is better to allow the best absolute will of God to be done in our lives than to impose our good will on Him.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).